Readers’ letters - October 27

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Red poppies are reminder of evil and horror of war

I notice that the Peace Pledge Union, with the support of the National Union of Teachers, has launched a campaign for schools across the country to endorse white poppies and they have signed up more than 100 teachers.

They seem to think that red poppies glamorise war. They couldn’t be further from the truth and if they were to reflect on why the Royal British Legion sells them, I would hope they would change their minds.

Let me remind them of the poem In Flanders Fields written by the Canadian medical officer Colonel John McCrae at his field dressing station during the second battle of Ypres in 1915.

It begins: “In Flanders Fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row”.

The poppies were red and were about the only thing that did grow. In winter the land was a sea of mud and in summer a plain of baked earth. They became a symbol of hope for the soldiers and reminded them of home.

Of course, the purpose of Remembrance is to remind everyone of the supreme sacrifice made by our service men and women in all wars and conflicts, but we also remember everybody who lost their lives and the injured.

It also reminds us of the evil and horror of war in the hope that nations will find a better way of settling their differences.

We in the Royal British Legion see more than most the suffering caused by conflict.

The money raised by the poppy appeal is used to alleviate suffering and provide help in a huge number of ways for all ex-service men and women and those still serving and their dependants. Please help them and remember their sacrifice and the horror of war by buying red poppies during the poppy appeal.

Raymond Hirst

Royal British Legion

Make the most of extra hour

As we draw near to the clocks going back, I can’t help but think how precious time is. When my two-year-old daughter Nevaeh was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2009, I desperately tried to cling on to every hour, afraid of what the future might bring.

Throughout everything my family has been through, one charity understood.

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity truly know how to support families who are caring for a seriously ill child.

My family’s wonderful Rainbow Trust family support worker, Lyn, helped us with the practical challenges of juggling a very ill child alongside everyday life.

She also helped us emotionally to cope with the unimaginable situation we found ourselves in and gave us precious time together as a family.

This October, as Nevaeh celebrates over five years of being cancer free, please support Rainbow Trust’s Big Hour Campaign to make the most of your extra hour when the clocks go back, by donating an hour of your wages, or holding a 60-minute fundraiser.

An hour of support from Rainbow Trust can make all the difference.

Trust me, I know.

Please visit to find out more.

Thank you for your support.

Charmaine Green


Recognising great work

The National Autistic Society is thrilled to announce that the Autism Professional Awards are back this year.

We are looking for people and organisations in your area that make a difference to the lives of autistic people and their families. We are looking for your stories so that we can increase public understanding of autism and inspire others to support autistic individuals.

Do you know a teaching assistant that has helped an autistic child to achieve something amazing? Or perhaps you know of a business that has made adjustments for autistic employers? Or even an inspirational social worker?

We want to recognise all the great work in your community so get nominating!

Carol Povey

Director of the National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism